Stephen J. Bell

Attorney
Stephen J. Bell

Stephen represents whistleblowers and handles a broad array of criminal litigation and investigatory matters, as well as related complex civil litigation, in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies.

Government Investigations, Representation of Qui Tam Relators, and Whistleblowers

Stephen represents qui tam relators and individuals in government whistleblower actions concerning issues ranging from cross-border financial crimes to national security. He has represented some of the most notable and high-profile whistleblowers in recent times under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, False Claims Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, and other federal programs. His work includes cross-border investigations and matters of significant international importance before numerous federal and foreign government agencies.

Recent representations include Trump Media & Technology Group whistleblower Will Wilkerson in parallel investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company that owns and operates Truth Social. See Washington Post coverage here and Miami Herald coverage here. Stephen is also involved in a high-profile anti-money laundering case involving billions of dollars of illicit funds channeled through numerous countries to the United States. Stephen’s other whistleblower cases are of equal national importance, yet remain confidential and out of the public eye.

In addition, Stephen defends individuals and entities subject to government investigations or prosecutions, or accused of white collar criminal offenses. Given his whistleblower experience, Stephen is uniquely situated to leverage these programs for clients who face criminal exposure and may not realize that blowing the whistle can result in favorable criminal outcomes.

Complex Commercial Litigation

White collar cases are rarely confined to the criminal courtroom and usually involve related civil claims. Stephen’s civil work regularly includes complex, bet-the-company litigation where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. He has significant experience with class actions and multi-district litigation, securities and financial industry litigation, high-net-worth estate litigation, and professional liability litigation. Stephen’s forte is handling “asymmetric litigation” where criminal, civil, and public relations issues converge, requiring a decisive and clear strategy to protect a client’s numerous and sometimes competing interests.

Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Securities, and FinTech

Stephen represents and advises litigants, stakeholders, and whistleblowers in the emerging blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. In the securities space, he advises clients on securities law issues and helps them navigate the myriad laws and regulations applicable to both individuals and entities involved in the securities and financial industries. This includes assisting clients who receive Wells notices, require opinion letters, or need assistance seeking No-Action Relief.

Transactional and Regulatory Work

Stephen acts as outside counsel to a number of businesses, guiding his clients through regulatory issues, risk-mitigation endeavors, and transactional matters.

*Stephen is not yet a member of the DC Bar; his application for admission is pending. His practice is currently limited to matters before federal courts and agencies.

Honors and awards

Stephen has a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Rating and has been selected to the list of Rising Stars, a distinction reserved for 2.5% of attorneys in a state, each of the last 6 years.

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